The long road to success
Posted on 04/06/2020
Born and raised in Phu Tho Province, Nhung first came to Bac Ha in 2006, when she was only 21. It was a trip full of surprises with difficult road conditions to the village – she even had to get off and help push the motorbike taxi some of the way to the village. There was also no electricity and a lack of health and education services in Ban Lien. However, she was immediately drawn to the beautiful landscape, the peacefulness of the area and the openness and friendliness of the local people.
As a woman, Nhung sympathised with the local ethnic minority women that they were living incredibly difficult lives. She soon realised that to help improve the local economy and the living conditions of the local women and their families, the community needed outside support. After the trip and seeing first-hand the potential of developing organic snow shan tea in Ban Lien, Nhung and her husband decided to return and start a new life together by jointly raising a family and building Ban Lien Tea Cooperative, the precursor of Bac Ha Tea Company.
Over the past decade, despite many obstacles the Company has successfully built up a 500 ha plantation area of organic and Fair Trade tea in Ban Lien. Its products are now being exported to premium markets in Europe and United States and the lives of the local people have significantly improved with increased income and improved working conditions. Nhung and the Company are now keen to start on a new journey.
Bac Ha Tea Company is partnering with the GREAT Program and Helvetas Intercooperation to expand its outreach to three new communes, introduce intercropping of medicinal plants and provide technical training to tea growers. The project is expected to improve the lives of over 1,000 local women from four different ethnic groups – Tay, Mong, Dao and Nung.